Local/State

Police chief inks letter urging change in community

Friday, January 11, 2013

Durham's police chief is reaching out to the Latino community asking members to come together after a recent spike in violence.

Chief Jose Lopez has written an open letter scheduled to be printed in local newspapers Friday.

Click here to see the letter (.pdf).

In the letter, Lopez points to several gang-related crimes among Latino juveniles. 2013 has already been a bloody year for the Bull City, including a continuation of violence that erupted at the end of last year, mostly involving gun crimes.

"By identifying those who are in these gangs, where the firearms are stored and disarming our own children which are important in order to stop the violence," Lopez writes.

The letter recalls the week of Christmas when three Latino youth, one as young as 12 years old, were arrested in connection with a fatal carjacking.

Before that, the chief points to the tragic shooting death of a 13-year-old Durham girl that made headlines, as well as a shooting at the local flea market.

Enough is enough, according to Lopez, who says silence puts lives at risk.

"The Latino community bears the blame because they are not taking the action that is necessary to stop the violence and gangs that exist. You are not screaming."

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